Ballys Fitness / Club would not honor my 7 day guest pass
So I just moved from one part of Miami to another and I wanted to try out the local gyms to see which one works for me. I signed up for the free 7 day pass online. I was careful to look at the T&C because I had used another guest pass at the Doral location back in October (I ended up joining Golds after the trial as it was closer to where I was living at the time). According to the terms on the site, you cannot use a guess pass more than once within a 90 day period. As the earlier guest pass was in mid-October and this one was March 6, I was OK as far as complying with this restriction.
The day after I called I got the obligatory intro call from the person who would try to sell me on the club when I made my visit. The person was named Michael was polite enough but he was obviously trying to steer me into personal training sessions. Fair enough, as I understand that this is where guys like him make their money but even if I wanted a personal trainer (which I do not), I am not in a financial position to do anything other than the basic membership.
When I got into the club, the issued me my guest pass. Michael introduced himself and directed me into his office where he proceeded to give me a sales pitch on the different membership plans. I listened politely while dropping strong hints that I was not going to consider anything until after I used the gym a few times and decided that I liked it. He didnt really seem to get the hint. I was anxious to start my workout and finally told him straight out that I wasnt going to buy anything and that I would like to go out onto the floor and start my workout.
At this point Michael dropped the bomb on me that they were not going to honor my guest pass. I asked him why and he first said that it was because I had used a guest pass earlier. After I explained to him that I checked on the web beforehand and that I was indeed eligible for another guest pass as this was a different club and more than 90 days had passed, he switched to an explanation that I had a previous membership with Ballys. It was true that I had been a member back in the mid-90's but I dont see how that would be relevant. It certainly did not state anything about this in the T&C and you would think that being a member more than ten years ago would be looked at favorably if anything.
Regardless, Michael wasnt going to let me work out so I asked to speak to the Manager. A man named Hector at the front desk said that he was the manager and he reaffirmed the stance that they would not honor my guest pass. I told them that I would call corporate to get this all straightened out but it was late in the evening and their office was closed.
I do have another promo offer from MasterCard that is for either two weeks free or 50% off membership. I am going to call the Ballys corporate office as well as MasterCard to confirm the validity of this promotion and come back for two weeks free. I was planning to use this for the membership discount but given how I was treated I am not really interested at giving them any of my money.
The gym seemed to be very busy even at 9PM so my guess is that they aren't interested in any customers where they cant make a quick buck even if that means not honoring offers made by the corporate office. I am also guessing that Corporate doesn't really care about local clubs complying with their policy if they are bringing in the dollars. Ironically, the Doral facility was a lot nicer and the people there did not put on a hard sell at any time while I was there.